Destination Cape Breton: More Money, No Strings

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will continue funding Destination Cape Breton Association (DCBA), the island’s tourism organization, to the tune of $1.9 million over the next three years.

The ACOA funding will match monies raised by a room marketing levy (imposed by the island’s municipalities) to a maximum of $640,000 per year.

DCBA, as we’ve noted before in these pages, is one of this island’s “special” entities — a body funded entirely by public monies and yet oddly unaccountable to the public.

The Spectator has written about DCBA’s lack of transparency before, suggesting that an organization which has been on the receiving end of over $10 million in public money since 2012 should be required to be more open about its operations, but ACOA clearly doesn’t care.

In announcing the funding at the Fortress of Louisbourg on Tuesday, Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner said:

You can have those treasures but people have to know that they’re there. It’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that we spread the word, that we become ambassadors for our community, that we help do what we can to grow and mature this great industry.

He did not, however, offer each and every one of us $1.9 million to fund our tourism promotion activities, so he’ll have only himself to blame if mine amount to little more than posting the occasional picture of my feet in salt water to Facebook.

The words I will be sure to spread, on the other hand, are those of the Canadian Centre for Law and Democracy, which says bodies like DCBA should be subject to Nova Scotia’s access to information laws:

The FOIPOP should also be extended to cover private bodies that perform public functions or receive public funding, to the extent of that funding or function.

Amen to that, Canadian Centre for Law and Democracy, amen to that.




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